Copeland claimed he named the stores after the fictional detective Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle in the movie The French Connection and not the comic character Popeye the Sailor. Copeland would claim facetiously that he was "too poor" to afford an apostrophe. Despite the close relation to the comic character, Copeland was able to successfully register the name Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits in 1997. The chain later acquired rights to use Popeye the Sailor for marketing. The company's early brand became deeply tied to the comic character with its sponsorship of the "Popeye & Pals" children's show in New Orleans, and the character appeared on items from packaging to racing boats.